Dear Doug: While You Can, Do!

Creators Syndicate | 6/2/2014, 7:36 a.m.
Q: My husband has always been my shining knight. A couple of months after he retired, his doctor discovered he ...
Doug Mayberry


Q: My husband has always been my shining knight. A couple of months after he retired, his doctor discovered he had terminal cancer. The best prognosis he could offer was that he had about a year. My knight vocally expressed his anger over how unfair his life was being played out. He had worked hard, was a wonderful husband and father, saved money for our retirement, and believed we had earned our freedom from work. Two weeks after the doctor's news, he suddenly blurted out he was going to accept the doctor's opinion, and our goal was to make the next year our "BEST YEAR EVER!" We asked the kids over for dinner to share the news. We signed up for that cruise we had always dreamed about and chose to invite our family along. It proved to be a winner. My husband wanted to go back to Iowa and see his family. We did. He was always frustrated because he could never usefully grow beefsteak tomatoes. He did. He said he wanted a live-in golf partner. I was nominated and won the election. I took lessons and became his partner. The bottom result was that we were actually given 15 months to achieve our best year ever. We did! I continue to live our dream year. Why were we so fortunate?

A: Luck did not have as much to do with it as you and your husband's commitment did. You made it as a team. By loving each other, having faith, choosing a positive attitude, enjoying family support, accomplishing your bucket list, and knowing you could accomplish it, you enabled yourselves to delay his doctor's prognosis.

Learning we are on a deadline often enables us to rise above what we believe we can do.

Thanks for sharing your experience. Encouraging others to love, cope, choose a can-do attitude, and care for others is proof of what we can accomplish when called upon!

Q: Noise, noise and more noise! Unfortunately, not being able to hear can isolate and discourages social contact with our family and peers. Even when we purchase expensive hearing aids, battle making manual adjustments and replacing miniature batteries, have annual checkups, and pay for replacements in the event of loss, aids do not compare to what we came with. Sometimes sales representatives overpromise us about the benefits.

Every person who needs a hearing aid is unique. Specific needs should be analyzed by experts who are knowledgeable and take a personal interest in what you require. Costs range from several hundreds to thousands of dollars. Digital aids are now the standard and are being touted as so.

Manufacturers spend unbelievable advertising dollars to convince you their aids are better than their competitor's. Talk to people at senior centers and your neighbors to learn their experiences. For example, in my case, I learned I only needed one aid, because the other ear was adequate. However, I bought two!

In aging, hearing does not improve. Finding the right supplier requires homework. Be patient and you will find one!

Doug Mayberry makes the most of life in a Southern California Retirement community. Contact him at To find out more about Doug Mayberry and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists visit the Creators Syndicate website at